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Spirit Airlines Flight Giveaway Hoax

Summary:
Email message claims that Spirit Airlines is giving away free flights based on how many times the message is forwarded to others (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, January 2006)
CHECK THIS OUT!!! SPIRIT AIRLINES E-MAIL PROMOTION

Share this info:

I contacted the Spirit public relations office - THIS IS REAL!!!!!!

Due to the recent news regarding our Bankruptcy, the number of passengers flying Spirit Airlines has fallen dramatically.

We at Spirit Airlines have launched a media campaign which aims to fill our aircrafts once again.

A part of this campaign is direct email advertising. This is where YOU come in! Spirit Airlines, along with MessageLabs Email Security System are tracking this email,and for every 5 people you forward this to, you will receive a one-way flight to any destination in the continental U.S.

Send this email to 10 people and you are eligible to fly ANYWHERE in in the continental U.S round trip!

Simple as that! However, that only catch is you MUST travel BEFORE June 25th 2006. You will be contacted via email within 5 working days for your full contact information and booking details.

Please visit Spirit Air for a full set of rules and regulations Note: one flight per person per family.

Promotion Account # 0025871



Commentary:
This forwarded email message began circulating in December 2005 and claims that Spirit Airlines is giving away free air travel to those who forward the message to at least five people. However, the claim is totally unfounded. In fact this message is simply the latest rehash of earlier hoaxes that targeted different airlines. During 2003, a similar hoax attempted to convince email recipients that British Airways was offering free flights. In October 2005, an almost identical message claimed that Delta Airlines was the company offering free air travel.

There is nothing about this supposed promotion on the Spirit Airlines website. Also the claim that the airline has filed for bankruptcy appears to be unfounded.

It is highly unlikely that an airline or any other legitimate company would base a promotional giveaway on how many times an email message was forwarded. Any email that makes such a claim is almost certainly a hoax.

Like its predecessors, the hoax makes the absurd claim that the email is being tracked in some way. However, there is simply no reliable way for an individual email message to be tracked over potentially thousands of forwards. Furthermore, even if it were possible, it is very doubtful that any ethical company would engage in such a practice.

There have been many bogus emails that try to convince recipients that a particular email is being tracked. Messages that make such claims invariable prove to be pure nonsense and they should not be taken seriously.

References:
Delta Air Lines Free Flight Hoax Email
British Airways Giveaway Hoax
Sophos: Spirit Airlines Free Flight
Spirit Airlines Website
Spirit Airlines plans pay cuts of up to 20 percent for its 138 mechanics


Write-up by Brett M. Christensen